A prospective study of statin drug use and lower urinary tract symptoms in older men

Alison M. Mondul, Edward Giovannucci, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dyslipidemia and chronic inflammation may play a role in the cause of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in older men. Use of statin drugs, which are prescribed to lower cholesterol and appear to reduce inflammation, may decrease the incidence or progression of LUTS. The associations of statin drug use with LUTS incidence and progression were prospectively evaluated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1992 to 2008. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of incident LUTS (from no or a low International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) of 0-7 to a moderate or worse IPSS of ≥15; n = 5,790 cases in 24,715 men) and of LUTS progression (from modest IPSS of 8-14 to severe IPSS of ≥20; n = 2,238 cases in 8,709 men) were calculated comparing current statin use with nonuse. The hazard ratios of LUTS incidence and progression comparing current use to nonuse were greater than 1. However, when comparisons were restricted to participants who used drugs to treat hypertension (a surrogate for uptake of medical care), statin use was not associated with LUTS incidence (hazard ratio = 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.94, 1.12) or progression (hazard ratio = 0.98, 95% confidence interval: 0.85, 1.13). Thus, statin use is unlikely to beneficially influence the development or course of LUTS. The present study highlights a methodological issue (confounding) that must be addressed in observational studies on the use of common drugs for indications other than the primary use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-803
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • cohort
  • lower urinary tract symptoms
  • risk
  • statin drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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